D. Dixon Boardman


Geoffrey M. Lewis

CA (SA), CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Thomas S.T. Gimbel

Executive Managing Director, Chief Portfolio Risk Officer

Christopher J. Heath

Senior Advisor

Michael Spelman

Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer

D. Dixon Boardman, President

Mr. Boardman founded Optima in July 1988 and is the President of Optima Asset Management LLC He has a background in advising high net worth individuals first as a Senior Vice President at Kidder, Peabody where he was an “Associate,” a distinguished group of the 20 leading stockbrokers in the firm, and then at UBS PaineWebber where he was a member of the Chairman’s Council. Mr. Boardman is often quoted in the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as in other financial publications. He appears frequently on CNBC to give his overview on the hedge fund industry. Mr. Boardman has served as Chairman of the Special Projects Committee of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is currently a member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Additionally, he is an Executive Committee member of the NewYork Weill Cornell Council. He is a Director of Florida Crystals Corporation and an Advisory Board Director, J.C. Bamford Excavators (U.K.). He has over 40 years investment experience and has been allocating to hedge fund managers for 28 years. Mr. Boardman attended McGill University.

Geoffrey M. Lewis, CA (SA), CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Lewis joined Optima in 1989. As Chief Financial Officer, he is responsible for all aspects of operations, finance, taxation, compliance and performance calculation for the firm. Previous to joining Optima, Mr. Lewis was Senior Audit Manager at Spicer & Oppenheimer (New York). There he was responsible for supervising audit engagements for hedge fund clients and other commercial entities. Prior to Spicer & Oppenheimer, Mr. Lewis was a Partner at Fisher Hoffman Stride (South Africa) where he specialized in head office audits. Mr. Lewis earned a Bachelor of Accounting, with distinction, from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Lewis is on the board of trustees of various non-for-profit entities in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Thomas S.T. Gimbel, Executive Managing Director, Chief Portfolio Risk Officer

Mr. Gimbel is responsible for the single-manager investment business and portfolio risk management. Mr. Gimbel joined Optima in 2004 from Credit Suisse Asset Management where he was Managing Director for Hedge Fund Investments where he originated hedge fund investments and structured fund-of funds offerings. Mr. Gimbel was previously head of the Hedge Fund Department at DLJ. Prior to DLJ, he was Managing Director in Investment Banking at PaineWebber and Chairman of PaineWebber Futures Management Corporation. He assembled that firm's first fund-of-funds in 1994 with Optima as a sub-adviser. His career began in investment banking in 1978. Mr. Gimbel has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of Children's Hospital in Boston, Director of Lighthouse International and a Director of Prime Energy Corporation. He has had a number of articles published in industry publications and has presented at numerous conferences and institutional investor forums.

Christopher J. Heath, Senior Advisor

Mr. Heath joined Optima in 1998 after serving as Chairman of Caspian Securities, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Caspian Securities, Ltd. which he founded in 1995. Previously, he spent nine years as Managing Director and then Chairman of Baring Securities Limited, which he founded in 1984 and built into one of the world’s most successful securities firms before his departure in 1993. He has over 40 years of investment experience including being a partner in the stockbroking firm of Henderson Crosthwaite & Co. and various positions in Imperial Chemical Industries. In addition, Mr. Heath is a Fellow of the Securities Institute. Apart from senior management appointments, Mr. Heath has been active as a business developer in many parts of the world, particularly Japan.

Michael Spelman, Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer

Prior to re-joining Optima in 2012, Mr. Spelman was a Managing Director at Oppenheimer Asset Management where he supervised the alternative investments department, advised on strategic asset allocation and headed manager selection for the Global Trading sector. Prior to that, from 2005 to 2009, Mr. Spelman was a Senior Director at Optima Asset Management LLC where he oversaw allocations to Global Macro managers and was in charge of crafting and communicating the firm’s investment outlooks. During 2004 and 2005, Mr. Spelman was a Vice President in the Alternative Investments Group at Refco where he developed market risk management policies and technology for derivatives trading portfolios and oversaw allocations to commodity trading advisors. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Spelman was a risk management analyst for the Quantitative Equities Group at Goldman Sachs with responsibility for monitoring performance, risk budgeting and portfolio construction across institutional client accounts allocated to GTAA, equity market neutral and long-only active strategies. Mr. Spelman began his career in alternative investments as an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney Managed Futures Trading and earlier, as a statistician at Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder Advisers. Mr. Spelman has been involved in the asset management industry since 1995 and holds a B.A. in Asian Studies from Hobart College.

“The caliber of professional talent at Optima makes us confident we will continue delivering premier alternative investment solutions. We have a truly remarkable team.”
Geoffrey Lewis, Managing Director and CFO